October 30, 2013

Lebanese Lentils and Rice Soup

Lebanese Lentils and Rice Soup
Lebanese Lentils and Rice Soup

Lebanese Lentils & Rice Soup

Just a few weeks ago I shared with you a recipe for Lebanese Spinach & Lentil Soup, and here I am again talking about lentils! But they are just so delicious and super-quick and easy to cook!

There are many ways to prepare lentils. Mujadra – another Lebanese lentils and rice dish – is one of our family favorites. Mujadra is not a soup though. It’s thicker, like a porridge almost.

Lentils are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, and I have already shared a couple of recipes that feature lentils here on CatholicFoodie.com:

  • Mujadra, which is a delicious lentils and rice dish topped with caramelized onions and olive oil.
  • Mujadra Patties, which I sort of stumbled upon by accident. It’s a great way to eat Mujadra the next day.
  • Mexican Lentil Soup, which my wife prepared last December for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
  • Lentil & Carrot Soup, which was submitted by my friend Mike Lindner.
  • Lebanese Spinach and Lentil Soup, which adds the healthy power-house of spinach to an already healthy soup.

Quick and Super-Easy to Make

This soup really is super-easy to make. There are only a handful of simple ingredients, and the meal was cooked – from start to finish – in under an hour.

Lebanese Lentils and Rice Soup Recipe


  • 2 cups dried red lentils
  • 16 cups of water
  • ½ cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 large sweet yellow onions, chopped
  • ½ to ¾ olive oil (for sautéing the onion)
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne, to taste (optional)
  • Arabic Seven Spice, to taste (optional)


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed stainless steel soup pot, bring water to a boil.
  2. Rinse and drain the lentils, then add them to the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, sauté the onions in the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Season the onions with salt and black pepper.
  4. At the 15 minute mark, add the rice to the lentils and water. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes (though you may need to turn down the heat to medium, or even medium-low, toward the end of the 20 minutes).
  5. Shortly after adding the rice, as soon as the onions have softened and become translucent, add them to the soup pot along with any residual olive oil. Taste soup for seasoning and add salt and black pepper as necessary.
  6. Cook until tender (usually about 20 minutes).
  7. Serve in bowls and season (optional) with a dash of cayenne and a few dashes of Seven Spice.


A Note about Seven Spice:
Arabic Seven Spice is a blend of seven spices (cinnamon and cardamom are two of them) that yield a slightly spiced taste to dishes. It is also beautifully aromatic. If you can't find it in stores, you can get it online from Amazon.com, or you can substitute Allspice. Just experiment and see what you like.